Considering some of the previous entries in the Stephen King back catalogue – The Shining, It, Misery – when a new novel of his gets described as having the most terrifying conclusion he’s ever written, you’ve got to take notice. That’s exactly the case with Revival, his 53rd novel, which will be hitting the shelves in hardback later in 2014, so it’s time to get back into the dark world of America’s most popular horror writer as he gets set to release a possible classic.
The story itself seems a little hard to fathom though, as King sets out from the very beginning to give little detail away other than the firm expectation of scary things to come. It centres on the intertwined lives of two men as drugs, rock and roll, religion and the afterlife combine to make up the dark heart of the decades long plot of the book.
Things start out in the 1960s as young Jamie Norton, just a boy at the time, comes face to face with the shadowy presence of the town’s new minister, Charles Jacobs. They become unlikely friends, working on simple electricity experiments together, but eventually go their separate ways with Jamie clinging to the vestiges of his bar band career and nursing a significant drug addiction, and Charles going on to be a well known stage act with his dazzling lightning shows.
When they eventually meet again years later, they’re lives are thrown back together with significant consequences for both of them, as they forge a new bond, giving Jamie a new direction in life and Charles an outlet for revivalist outlook. However, the reality of this as it plays out has got to be one hell of a frightening culmination for it to outdo some of King’s big name past successes, so we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.
The hardback edition publish date of Revival has been confirmed for the 11th November 2014, following hot on the heels of Joyland and Doctor Sleep in 2013 and Mr Mercedes earlier in 2014, to continue Stephen King’s prolific dark literary output. At 417 pages, it’s just a little shorter than The Shining, but the big question is whether or not it will prove to be as terrifying as the happenings at the Overlook Hotel.
A lot of the notoriety of Stephen King’s work has come about as a result of movie and TV adaptations of his novels, but we haven’t seen a culturally significant cinematic outing for the writer in a while. That’s not to say that his more recent books haven’t been adapted, it’s just that they haven’t been anywhere near as audience grabbing as his earlier work.
You’d probably have to go back to Green Mile in 1996 to find a book that really broke it big at the movies, but if Revival turns out to be as impressive as the synopsis implies it might be, this could be one to look out for. If it does get an adaptation, it would be nice to see it getting the kind of director that can make it come alive in the same way that Stanley Kubrick, Frank Darabont and Rob Reiner have done so well previously.